LOOK: Jordan Clarkson, Gilas ham it up in barong
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Okay, no need to fret, Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson isn't about to eschew sartorial convention when he serves his duty as Philippine flag-bearer in the 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday, August 18.
Just hours before the ceremonial parade, photos popped up on social media showing Clarkson wearing his Randy Ortiz barong with the sleeves all rolled up and pairing it with black cropped pants and white running shoes.
Clearly, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard was just hamming it up with the rest of the Philippine men's basketball squad.
And hey, there's Don Trollano in the group shot! Looks like the in again-out again TNT player will also join the national team during the athletes' parade at 7 pm (8 pm in Manila) at the 80,000-capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Philippine team chef de mission Richard Gomez said the honor of flag-bearer has been bestowed on Clarkson since aside from being a good role model, it also sends a message that “whether you are a Filipino born overseas or locally, we are just one big sports family.” (READ: Jordan Clarkson gears up for PH flag-bearer role)
"I’m very excited, I’m excited for the ceremony and everything. I’m just excited," said Clarkson hours before the march.
Of course, the 6-foot-4 guard knows that real work starts after the extravagant inaugural rites. But it looks like Clarkson hardly had any trouble fitting in with the team system of national coach Yeng Guiao. (READ: Guiao on Jordan Clarkson: 'We don't need him to score 50')
"It’s been great, having a good time, excited, ready to play," said Clarkson, whose mother and grandmother trace their roots in Pampanga. "I mean, I’m probably as excited as they are to play, I’m just going to go out there, compete and have fun, and try to win."
Clarkson is set to debut with the Gilas squad against traditional favorite China – which is also backstopped by NBA players Zhou Qi of the Houston Rockets and Ding Yanyuhang of the Dallas Mavericks – on Tuesday, August 21, at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. Manila time).
"I feel like it’s like any other NBA player who steps on the floor, compete and try to win, so that’s what we’re going out there to do, that’s what it is," said Clarkson.
But for now, let these men have fun and feel good in their barong.